Human experience, both individual and collective, seems to be a continual struggle between the power of God, good, and the pretended forces of evil. Mrs. Eddy depicts this argumentative struggle in an illuminative and helpful manner under the chapter title "A Colloquy" in her book "Unity of Good" (pp. 21-26). This portrayal is both illuminative and helpful, because the claims and arguments of evil are therein unmasked and stripped of their apparently pleasing and alluring habiliments, so that their astounding denial of God may be clearly seen by any one whose spiritual perception has been quickened to any degree. This unmasking of the claims of evil is necessary to the excision of evil, because its claims are always presented either as inherently good or as promising to be resultant in good, which furnishes evil's only basis for its claims to attractiveness. Of course, when evil is shorn of its pretensions to good, and it is seen for what it really is, instead of for what it claims to be, its destruction is insured. Evil, when seen as such, is not attractive, but repellent and repugnant. Every individual who is honest with himself avows that his true desire is to think and act, to gain and give, only that which is good and uplifting in nature and effect.

Writing on page 102 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy presents the true basis for our thinking on the subject of influence or attraction in these words: "There is but one real attraction, that of Spirit. The pointing of the needle to the pole symbolizes this all embracing power or the attraction of God, divine Mind." It is necessary for Christian Scientists to see this clearly and to remind themselves of it frequently because, as Mrs. Eddy writes farther on (p. 213), "Material theories partially paralyze this attraction towards infinite and eternal good by an opposite attraction towards the finite, temporary, and discordant." It is this claim of and undestroyed belief in an attraction and influence apart from and unlike God, good, which is the cause of the continuing struggle in human consciousness between good and evil.

It is important to the spiritual welfare and progress of Christian Scientists that they clearly perceive and understand the truth about attraction and influence, in order that the false claim of an evil influence and attraction may be effectually denied and disproved. In all its aims and activities mankind is directed and governed to a large degree by its desires; therefore whatever tends to mold and fashion desire should be considered and examined carefully to ascertain whence it comes and whither it tends. This applies especially to our thoughts regarding influence and attraction, may men quite naturally desire and endeavor to obtain that which, to their sense, seems to be attractive. In the epistle of James we read, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Therein we have a rule or standard by which we can easily and definitely determine whether that which we may desire, because of its apparent attractiveness, is really good, and it therefore truly desirable. Since all that is really good is from God, Love, Spirit, it must and does follow that whatever does not tend to influence men Godward,—Spiritually upward,—is not from God, Truth, and should be classified as evil, and therefore as unattractive, and as without influence and power. It may be readily seen that any thought which, if universally accepted and expressed by men, would not tend to bless and harmonize, is not an idea of divine Mind, and is therefore lacking in real inherent goodness and attractiveness.

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October 18, 1924

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